Part-Time Killer, Full-Time Librarian
REVIEW: ALL THE BEST KILLERS ARE LIBRARIANS
BY RYAN M. LUÉVANO
Anyone who loves a good assassin movie will appreciate the premise of Bob DeRosa’s new play All the Best Killers Are Librarians. The plot concerns a shy librarian named Margo who meets a man who hires and trains the best assassins, convinced she is a natural born killer, she’s recruited into his action-packed world of professional assassinations, international intrigue, and forbidden romance. What began as a submission of a seven episode serial in Sacred Fools Theater’s late-night “Serial Killers” series has been combined into a fast-paced hour-long show that can be seen for the first time at the Hollywood Fringe.
Director Alicia Conway Rock has expertly assimilated this action-packed, dark comedy to the stage. Audiences can easily follow the story and venture into this world of murder and high stakes situations. Rock uses the entire stage for the action of this play and the players move about so freely giving the impression of a stage that’s ten times as large. One of the most important components of this play are the numerous fight scenes crafted by Mike Mahaffey—not only are the fight scenes interesting but they are marked with precision and vivacity that bring the show to life. My favorite moments are the knife throws, which knowingly took hours of rehearsal to get to those high degrees of accuracy and authenticity.
Lauren Van Kurin as Margo the librarian is a powerhouse actress from start to finish. Van Kurin gives a compelling and entertaining performance as the assassin-librarian—she more than anything else fully takes the audience into this story. Eric Giancoli as Lancaster is cold-blooded and dangerous; everything about Giancoli performance is dark and all absorbing—he the character you love to hate. The other assassin-librarian, Elenor, played by Jennifer C. DeRosa offers a perfect compliment to Margo—she’s over the top evil through and through. Jennifer DeRosa gives her character a life off the page that’s tough and determined. The ensemble of this show is also stellar as they play a multitude of other characters, killers and victims—there’s not a weak link to be found in the cast of All Killers Are Librarians.
With a background grounded in film and TV, everything about DeRosa’s play feels cinematic working both for and against this play. Many of these cinematic elements such as the premise, the fight scenes and the characters are a refreshing and entertaining to see on stage. However, there are also elements that are better suited for the screen or TV rather than the stage. For example the play is made up of many short scenes that sever the action of the plot so much so that the audience can never fully get comfortable in the dark and dangerous world that DeRosa has so marvelously created. One can only assume this is a result of forming this play from seven short episodes. Additionally, the dialogue, although effective at evoking the assassin world, demands more dimension from characters performing live on stage.
Librarians are taking lives at this year’s Fringe Festival in All The Best Killers Are Librarians, a play bringing you all the action-packed comedy and thrills of a movie to the stage.
LOCATION: Sacred Fools Theater (Second Stage) 6320 Santa Monica Blvd
Saturday June 18th 4 pm
Saturday June 25th 3:30 pm
For more information and tickets visit: www.hollywoodfringe.org